Calhoun's Slam Sends ASU to 18th Straight

Sometimes all it takes is a bloop single to get a struggling hitter going at the plate.Senior Kole Calhoun had been in a funk early on this season, but a bloop single in the fifth may have been the break that he needed, because in the very next inning he launched a grand slam to break the game open and help ASU knock off Houston 10-1 at Packard Stadium.

While the Sun Devils (18-0) connected for three home runs on the night, junior right hander Seth Blair didn't need much help. He tossed seven strong innings, only allowing one run and struck out eight to pick up his third win of the season against a UH ballclub that came in winners of seven of their last eight.

Early on Blair ran into a little trouble. The Cougars threatened to get on the board in the first inning, but Blair worked out of trouble.

Blake Kelso led off the game with a base hit and Zak Presley followed with a walk, bringing up the red hot Joel Ansley to the plate for UH. Blair appeared to have Ansley struck out, but on the 0-2 pitch, a balk was called, moving the runners to second and third with nobody out.

With the 3-4-5 hitters coming up, the Cougars only needed to put the ball in play to take the lead, but that didn't happen. Blair came back to strike out the side and worked out of trouble.

Momentum quickly went to the Sun Devils as ASU struck in the bottom of the first on a two-run home run by Zack MacPhee.

That's all the offense that Blair needed, as he settled in after the first inning trouble.

An RBI single by MacPhee made it 3-0 ASU in the 5th, but the Sun Devils blew it open in the 6th inning.

Zach Wilson led off the inning with a walk and Johnny Ruettiger laid down a bunt that UH reliever Ty Stuckey fielded and had Wilson dead at second base, but he threw the ball into centerfield allowing the runners to move up to second and third.

Stuckey eventually walked the bases loaded, but there were two outs in the inning. MacPhee drew a walk after an eight pitch at bat to force in a run for his 4th RBI of the evening.

That set up Calhoun who ripped a 1-0 pitch onto Rural Road for a grand slam that put ASU up 8-0. Riccio Torrez made it back-to-back home runs by hitting one to the scoreboard.

The Cougars (9-7) finally got on the board when Caleb Ramsey hit a solo homer to lead off the 7th against Blair.

That was the only blemish on Blair's line, however. Freshman Alex Blackford and junior Josh Moody each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.

Calhoun finished the night 2-3 with two runs scored and four RBI. MacPhee also finished 2-3 with four runs driven in.

The Sun Devils and Cougars will continue its three game series tomorrow at 6:30PM at Packard Stadium. Junior Merrill Kelly will be on the mound for ASU.

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